Performance Support for the Next Millennium:
A Model for Rapidly Changing Technologies in a
Global Economy Gary J. Dickelman*,
Ashok Banerji, Ph.D.*** GURU, Inc., ** Singapore PolytechnicConsumers of popular desktop software have been amused, appalled,
occasionally assisted, but most likely infuriated by a help file, the Planning
Wizard, the Office Assistant, or similar intervention. These are manifestations of
years of developments in computing where the ultimate objective is the elusive
system that is easy to use. Learning technologists, human factors engineers and
others have been focused on creating the precise support that a user (performer)
needs at just the right time. A significant gap always exists between software
features and our ability to harness them. Those responsible for developing the
core applications and the support elements share a common goal of providing
ease-of-use, but opinions and techniques for achieving the goal vary widely.In 1989 Gloria Gery coined the phrase Performance Support to address goal.
While definitions vary, it is widely agreed that Performance Support Systems:
|• ||enable people to perform tasks quickly because they provide integrated task
structuring, data, knowledge and tools at the time of need;|
|• ||do not tax the performer's memory, nor do they require performers to
manipulate too many variables; and|
|• ||enable task completion with learning as a secondary consequence.|
We will review a collection of performance support models, then abstract the
kernel for a new model. The new unified model will serve many stakeholders
and stand the test of technological challenges in the global business environment
of the new millenium.
1 Models of Performance Support
A number of models of Performance Support have emerged since 1989, all of
which address some attributes of the performance problem space. They include____________________
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: Human-Computer Interaction:Communication, Cooperation, and Application Design.
Contributors: Hans-Jörg Bullinger - Editor, Jürgen Ziegler - Editor.
Publisher: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Place of publication: Mahwah, NJ.
Publication year: 1999.
Page number: 187.
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